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Simply Summer:

Planning Your Dream Summer Wedding Has Never Been Easier!

You're done with all that engagement fuss and you've finally started piecing together ideas for your big day: waterfalls and lakes, starry skies, balmy breezes...hmmm, so you're thinking about a summer wedding huh?  But where to begin?  As usual, knowing when and where (exactly) you'll be married is an imperative for the planning process.  The date and time of your ceremony help coordinate "seasonal" and "time appropriate" décor, gifts, setting, theme, etc. into your wedding.  If you're getting married in the winter in the nighttime, chances are you have a very, very different vision in mind than if you were to be married in the summer months at nighttime, or a Sunday morning brunch wedding in the middle of spring!  Knowing where you'll be married helps further propel your "décor intuition."  Will it be outside or inside?  Do you want formal, casual, semi-formal?  These are all things that, once you've nailed down the basics, can start to fall into place and help solidify your dream wedding vision. 

The summer months are known for the ever popular "outdoor" wedding.  Likewise, it's very appropriate, thanks to the warmer temps, to throw a more casual, or semi-formal affair.  Rather than an indoor, black tie, five-course meal shebang, summer weddings are the perfect opportunity to throw the cocktail party of your life, under the stars, with those cool umbrella drinks, and amazing hors d'oeuvres.  If you're a stickler to the book and all things traditional, you can still have your more formal summer wedding in a venue that offers panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows for an amazing view of a beautiful summer sunset...cheers to summer weddings! 

Below are some ideas on all those "little things" that go into the planning process to help you throw your ideal summer wedding shebang.


  • LOCO for LOGOS-  Go for a bright, simple icon, logo, or monogram and feature it in bold colorful blocking across all of your stationery: invitations, save the dates, thank you cards, programs, menus, place cards, etc.  It's a great way to initiate a motif and help synchronize the look and theme of your wedding.
  • HOW CHARMING-  Add panache, personality, and "wow" factor to your invitations by affixing personalized charms (again the monogram works wonders), or other little trinket charms to pull together a breezy summer theme: star fish, sand dollars, cocktail umbrellas, or stick with traditional love charms - like hearts for an extra romantic look.
  • WRAP 'em UP- Adorn your invitations with bright colored ribbon in coordinating shades that compliment your wedding colors.  For summer months stick with lighter fabrics: chiffon, organza, and tulle are great transparent fabrics that add luster without the load- they'll re-emphasize your whole "easy breezy summer wedding" concept.


  • GET VIVID-  Highlight your natural surroundings and pay homage to the outdoors by integrating intensely bright shades of blues, greens, corals, and pinks into your wedding palette (of course you might want to limit yourself to 2 or 3 colors!), which will contrast beautifully with those summer perfect green lawns and water blue skies.
  • Au' NATURAL-  Bring elements from nature into your décor.  Use goldfish as centerpieces (in a round vase of course), or for those beach weddings, fill a unique box (or flat vase) with sand and gently nestle sea shells, sand dollars, and other "beach memorabilia" atop the sandy surface.
  • The NAME GAME-  Take advantage of the "great outdoors" as an organizing tool by naming tables after specific, wedding theme appropriate, locales (e.g. if you're having a beach wedding, name your tables after your different favorite beaches).  Or, if you're going with the tropical theme, name your tables after islands. Alternatively, doing the outdoor and adventurous motif, you can name your tables after mountains you've climbed, or your favorite forests.


  • FLOWERS & FRUIT-  Integrate fresh or wax fruit, of one or two contrasting hues, into a bright, monochromatic floral scheme for extra texture, color variety, and personal punch to your centerpieces and floral arrangements.  Lemons, limes, and orange slices are great for lining/filling vases- top off with a single large bloom, loose petals, or a handful of small buds.
  • HERE COMES the BRIDE-  Don't limit your floral décor to the centerpieces and bouquets.  Integrate flowers into your ceremony décor.  Instead of the traditional "petal carpet", opt to place individual flowers in small vases/urns, and line the walkway.  Or, line the walkway with shepherds' hooks and hang adorable small basket bouquets from their tops for an extraordinary visual impact.
  • VARIETY-    Spice up a modern monochromatic color palette by opting to use a variety of shades of one color.  For an extra effect, isolate each hue by limiting it to one bouquet, one centerpiece, etc.  For example: do your bridesmaid bouquets in peach, coral, orange, and tangerine (one color for each bouquet), and compliment the look by using the same isolated palette for each centerpiece.  *The individually colored centerpieces also help as an organizational tool!
  • CONTRAST-   If you're getting married outside you want to make sure your flowers really "pop" against your natural background(s).  Stick to intense and bright hues like fuchsia, coral, and lemon, and avoid darker hues like maroon, deep purples, and golds.  For an indoor bash, integrate chartreuse orchids into your floral scheme to bring a little bit of the "green" outdoors inside, without having to add all the foliage (which can look more autumnal and/or wintry).


  • GO LIGHT-   Opt for lighter, less heavy menus that are high on color and low on fat.  Strawberry and spinach salad, mango salsa chicken, etc. are all dishes that have a lot of visual "wow" factor without being too heavy and filling to enjoy.
  • TOTALLY TROPICAL-  Bring the islands to your wedding with signature tropical flavored cocktails (top with those cool umbrellas): maí taís, fruit flavored martinis, and pina coladas are great choices.
  • COLOR- Make sure to integrate color into your menu with lots of fruit and vegetables.  Instead of your typical parsley garnish, opt for an orchid blossom, or tulip.


  • My ANGEL-    Stay sweet but light with a fluffy angel food wedding cake, filled with fresh strawberries and cream.
  • BERRY GOOD-  Instead of serving cake, offer guests a more "health conscious" and "summer appropriate" dessert: berries and cream, topped with a floral garnish.
  • ICE, ICE BABY-  Serve cups of sherbet, sorbet, gelato, or low fat ice cream for a sweet but sinless treat after dinner.  Stick with bright colors that compliment your wedding theme:  Pink- raspberry or strawberry sherbet, sorbet; Orange-peach, orange, or tangerine sorbet or sherbet; Chartreuse: lime sorbet; or have fun and go for the all time classic "Rainbow Sherbet."


  • GET SHADY-  Offer your guests relief from the summer sun with beautiful parasols or fans: sandalwood or paper.
  • CANDY SHOP-   Set up shop, literally.  Fill several jars with assorted candies and goodies and allow guests to fill up their personal favor bags on their own accord. *Kids will love this one!
  • BE BEACHY-  For an extra special favor, give guests flip flops in colors that compliment your wedding palette (this could get tricky when it comes to "sizing" and knowing how many men and women to buy for).  Stick with a unisex style and buy a variety of sizes.  Or, offer guests cute little bottles with sand and sea shells inside (how ever do they get those shells in that little bottle?). * * *